BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON RESIDENCE: APARTMENT
The Building is an early pre-war building on Park Avenue - in fact it was the first residential building on Park Avenue built above 57th Street; where most Park Avenue Prewar buildings were developed in the 1920s, this Park Avenue building was built in 1908 - A Neoclassical building with beaux-arts detailing - it is an outstanding building when walking along Park Avenue its deep classical cornice above immediately jumps forward, and its limestone clad stone plinth/quoining at base of building sets it apart from the other brick buildings surrounding; This apartment is on the 9th floor of the building; a unique setting- with the one and only Juliet Balcony visible from the street running along the building’s south facing facade; the apartment boasts wonderful natural light, with south and eastern exposures. The apartment is in the classic style, streamlined language; the building boasts prewar charm and character with gracious windows and tall ceilings. The apartment has a unique floor plan, reminiscent of the Parisian flat featuring the room to room enfilade arrangement of space. Originally belonging to Fred Astaire in the 1950s (Fred is rumored to have lived here for almost 12 years)…
Streamlined Classic- deeply rooted in tradition, my background working for William Hodgins has influenced my personal style and it shows through the architectural quality of the rooms. I’ve added many moldings (crown, base, casings, over-door panels throughout and wall paneling at the living room) throughout the apartment which establish a connection with the history of the building, coupled with a fresh and bold color palette which moves the space forward and into the future. In the living room, I added chair rail with recessed wall paneling above and below, with a deep large cove crown molding accentuating the ceiling heights and adding architecture. The Ceiling beams were also clad with the large cove molding, Apart from the upholstery, nothing in the apartment is new - it is a collection of found objects, mainly sourced for this space, and some which have traveled over from my original apartment. I am an avid shopper of furniture and objects and believe that properly layered interiors are put together amassing unique items. Though mainly in the classic style, some mid-century and modern accents are threaded through; Sustainability in design has always been a key factor in my work, I steer clear of any color of trendy piece of furniture that may read ‘of the moment’ and always search for design solutions which transcend time.
DESIGN OBJECTIVES FOR THIS RESIDENCE:
I always tell everyone that in New York you don’t choose an apartment; and apartment chooses you. I learned this lesson first hand, after 5 years of looking for my new apartment, I finally found it here. The apartment had not been renovated since the 1950s and was in poor condition when it came into my life, but from the moment I walked in the front door I felt the history and character that the space exudes. My experience of the space from the beginning was exciting and inspired - I loved the unique floorplate, and immediately responded to the axis and centerline between the fireplace mantle and the opening to the dining room. I knew at once that I would create an opening between the dining room and the adjacent room (which was originally the master bedroom) to extend the axis through; I created a library of the original master bedroom and accomplished a classic enfilade across the south side of the apartment, the string of my entertaining rooms (Living room, Dining Room and Library) with the fireplace in the living room and the fireplace at the library as the end punctuation marks. Though steeped in character and underlying charm, the condition of the apartment was the biggest challenge; it lacked moldings as one would normally expect in such a spacious Park Avenue residence, and the walls were in terrible condition. My painter analyzed and counted the layers of paint as 32 over the years, each coated one on top, and one was even a layer of wallpaper! They had a fun time removing the canvassing on the walls, and preparing eight coats of skim-coating for the pristine high-gloss surfaces I assigned them to accomplish. The paintwork in the apartment was indeed the biggest struggle, as color and light through the apartment shifts from morning to afternoon - in the morning the east facing exposure (the bedroom wing of the apartment) enjoys direct sunlight, then passing into the afternoon hours, the light shifts to the southern facing (the entertaining rooms); it was a challenge to resolve colors that would look great in strong direct sunlight versus the quiet glow of light in-between those hours. Many of the colors were mixed on site, with over a dozen samples for each room which I spent many days analyzing in different casts of natural light.
Garrow Kedigian- Interior Designer
Having worked for the reknowned Interior Designer William Hodgins in Boston at the onset of my carreer, my sense of style and design is clearly rooted in his influences. I am from a European background, originally growing-up in Montreal I have an Armenian and French background. I am trained as an architect, having attended the McGill School of Architecture; After which I moved from Montreal to Boston where I worked for William Hodgins for six years before taking a bite of the big apple. I moved to NYC in 2000, and started my own design firm shortly thereafter.
I am a collector of decorative objects; antique books and curiosities I come across at flea markets and auctions, as well as have a unique collection of furniture pieces which I have been collecting over the years.